First Hit #1: January 31, 1981
Blondie has never been particularly shy about their influences, and chances are if they like something they’re going to put it in a song. So, if it wasn’t clear already, one of their influences is reggae, and in order to leave no doubt about this, here’s the Tide Is High, a cover of an old reggae song. Like most good covers, it sounds like the artist singing, and Blondie makes it their own even though it’s relatively faithful. Debbie Harry still sounds like herself, even if she’s treading into established territory, and the band just adapts their regular style to a reggae beat – something that isn’t very hard for them, since they’ve clearly been inspired by the music from the beginning. It still sounds relatively fresh, even as a cover, and even if it’s a band just fooling around with a song they always liked they show an appreciation for the material as well as an awareness of their own strengths as a group. As such, it provides an alternate but rewarding take on the material.